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Eurozone jobless numbers reach new record

BRUSSELS — Unemployment in the eurozone has reached another record high, according to official figures.

The seasonally-adjusted rate for April was 12.2 per cent, up from 12.1 per cent the month before.

An extra 95,000 people were out of work in the 17 countries that use the euro, taking the total to 19.38 million.

Both Greece and Spain have jobless rates above 25 per cent. The lowest unemployment rate is in Austria at 4.9 per cent.

The European Commission’s statistics office, Eurostat, said Germany had an unemployment rate of 5.4 per cent while Luxembourg’s was 5.6 per cent.

The highest jobless rates are in Greece (27.0 per cent in February 2013), Spain (26.8 per cent) and Portugal (17.8 per cent).

In France, Europe’s second largest economy, the number of jobless people rose to a new record high in April.

“We do not see a stabilisation in unemployment before the middle of next year,” said Frederik Ducrozet, an economist at Credit Agricole in Paris. “The picture in France is still deteriorating.”

Youth unemployment remains a particular concern. In April, 3.6 million people under the age of 25 were out of work in the eurozone, which translated to an unemployment rate of 24.4 per cent.

Figures from the Italian government showed 40.5 per cent of young people in Italy are unemployed.

“We have to deal with the social crisis, which is expressed particularly in spreading youth unemployment, and place it at the centre of political action,” said Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano.

In the 12 months to April, 1.6 million people lost their jobs in the eurozone.

While the jobless figure in the eurozone climbed for the 24th consecutive month, the unemployment rate for the full 27-member European Union remained at 11 per cent. (BBC)

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